One-Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken & Asparagus Pasta

published Apr 16, 2024
One-Pot Lemon Pasta with Asparagus and Chicken Recipe

The creamy lemon sauce makes this one-pot pasta dinner taste like spring.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
overhead  shot of lemon asparagus chicken pasta in a light blue pot, topped with cheese
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

I love a good one-pot pasta. This lemony asparagus and chicken pasta recipe is the one I plan on making on repeat all spring long. In fact, I’ve made it five times in the past month, and every single time the entire Dutch oven‘s worth was devoured. My family loves that it’s just as much about the crisp-tender bites of asparagus and juicy strips of chicken breast (which keep it satisfying) as it is about the al dente pasta.

But the thing that keeps everyone coming back for more is the creamy lemon sauce. It has a velvety smooth texture that clings to the pasta, and a light, bright flavor. Plus, it’s a true one-pot pasta (no draining necessary!) and it cooks in under 30 minutes. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • This creamy lemon sauce is everything. It’s super creamy but still feels light, thanks to the lemon, which also gives it a bright, sunny flavor.
  • It tastes like spring. Because you use a full bunch of asparagus, this dinner is just as much about the vegetables as it is about the pasta. 
  • This is a true one-pot pasta. Everything cooks in a single pot and there’s no draining necessary.

Key Ingredients in Lemony Asparagus and Chicken Pasta

  • Short dried pasta. Penne, rigatoni, and farfalle are the best types of pasta for this recipe. You’ll need 12 ounces (about four cups) of dried pasta.
  • Asparagus. The whole bunch of asparagus gets tossed into this pasta dinner. A bunch of asparagus is generally about one pound, and it’s OK here if it’s a little more or less.
  • Boneless chicken breast. Lean chicken breast is perfect for this spring pasta. It’s quick-cooking and its mild flavor allows the creamy lemon sauce to shine.
  • Lemon. A single lemon might not seem like a lot, but using both the zest and juice really packs a punch of flavor. The acidity keeps the creamy sauce in check so it doesn’t feel heavy, and adds a bright, slightly tangy flavor. 
  • Heavy cream. Because everything cooks all in one pot, the starchy pasta water and cream team up to make a lush, velvety sauce that clings to the pasta.

How to Make Lemony Asparagus and Chicken Pasta

  1. Sear the chicken. Sear thin strips of chicken breast in your Dutch oven until lightly browned all over and cooked through, then transfer to a plate.
  2. Cook the pasta. You’ll use the same Dutch oven for this, and there’s no need to clean or wipe it out — especially if there’s any browned or stuck-on bits that will add flavor. Combine the pasta, water, cream, olive oil, and salt, and cook 2 minutes less than al dente.
  3. Add the asparagus. The asparagus gets added to the pot in the final minutes of cooking to pick up a crisp-tender bite.
  4. Finish the pasta. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cooked chicken, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. If the sauce feels a little thin, let the pasta sit for up to five minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

One-Pot Lemon Pasta with Asparagus and Chicken Recipe

The creamy lemon sauce makes this one-pot pasta dinner taste like spring.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium bunch asparagus (about 1 pound)

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 pound

    boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 3 cups


  • 1 cup

    heavy cream

  • 12 ounces

    short dried pasta, such as penne, rigatoni, or farfalle (about 4 cups)

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup finely grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated), plus more for serving


  1. Trim 1 medium bunch asparagus and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon (about 2 teaspoons). Juice the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons. Pat 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts dry with paper towels and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Season the chicken all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, flipping occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  3. Add 3 cups water, 1 cup heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, and 12 ounces short dried pasta to the Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the pasta is 2 minutes less than al dente, 5 to 9 minutes depending on the pasta shape. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup lightly packed) if needed, or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought.

  4. Add the asparagus to the pasta and stir to combine. Cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender and pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pot and add the lemon zest, juice, and Parmesan cheese. Stir until well-combined and the pasta is coated with the cheese. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.